I do not put them directly on grates. I don't want any residue from grates to color them. I use racks and Q-MATZ.
You could put them directly on the grate though if you want those grill mark on them. Just make sure to sterilize grates with high heat, and let cool fully, before adding cheese. No problem.
Now you've got me thinking Cliff.
Maybe I will try the directly on grate thing, just to impress family and friends with the grill marks. LOL
I didn't get any pic's of them in the smoker, or just out, of smoker, but I will post a pic of them before I vac-seal them. I've been lazy for the past week, so they are still in fridge in zip locks. I'll get to vac-packing them very soon, and take pic's.
Here is some pic's of my first ever smoked cheese
If you're doing a lot of different cheeses, toothpick labels are a godsend if you are over 50! I'm much over 50. LOL
I now only try to do 2 or 3 different ones at a time. Color or shape will tell me what I have.
Also. that first time, she bought a hunk of same Tillmook Cheddar Cheese from the store, to compare to my very first home smoked.
That's a pretty tough test, on a guy doing his first ever cheese smoke. LOL
We both tasted tested later, and mine beat the store bought smoked cheese, hands down! Same cheese, same store. Do it yourself. It's better!
I LOVE Smoking cheese! It's the easiest smoke you can do! Just keep chamber temp between 50* to 75* for 4 hours or so, and you're good. Adjust your smoking times to your liking for smoke strength. No mess, no fuss. Just check once in awhile to make sure that the AMNPS is still going okay. That's it!
Then seal and wait for a month or so, before using.
It only takes a very few coals added 1-3 at a time to keep temp steady. More if it's windy, or really cold outside. If you do it on a day that is above 55*-65* and sunny,, you probably won't need nothing but the AMNPS, as the sun will keep chamber up around 60* - 70* because the CG is black, and absorbs direct sunlight heat.
In cold and/or windy weather, you are always lighting a few coals to keep in reserve, ready to add. Small price to pay.
Once you've made your own smoked cheese, you'll never go back to un-smoked, or even smoked cheese, from the store again!
It's hard to describe. It isn't overly smoky flavor, but it adds such flavor depth to the cheese. It seems to make it come alive.
Even people who say they don't like smoked cheese, will like it. Chances are they only had store smoked cheese that is sprayed with liquid smoke. It is no contest.
Case in point.
I smoked some American Cheese. After the waiting period of a month or so, I opened a pack for my wife, who loves American Cheese. She used to buy it all the time.
After she used some of the smoked, over a year ago now, she has never bought anymore high priced American singles again.
In fact, I left some store bought American Cheese that she had bought beforehand, in the fridge for months afterwords.
She never touched it, and I finally threw it out. LOL ... True story. And I. who basically, hates American cheese, likes this stuff now too.
To this day, she had not bought another package of American Cheese, or Havarti home.
She only buys me hunks of the stuff, and tells me to get smoking. LOL